Ever see those late-night to early morning massage places with flashing neon lights saying “SHIATSU” on the facade?

It’s not anything seedy – it is in fact an ancient tradition of therapeutic massage that does have its benefits, especially for those of us who suffer from muscle and back aches. It combines the theoretical framework of traditional Chinese medicine, massage, and the Japanese aesthetic. The practice of Shiatsu massage is a practice that spans centuries of oriental medical tradition and the Japanese aesthetic approach.

Shiatsu involves finger pressure – aptly so, since it translates exactly to “finger pressure” – using kneading, pressing, soothing, and tapping techniques without oil, and through clothing (as opposed to deep tissue, or Swedish massage) that was developed in the early 1900s following the resurgence, or the rediscovery thereof, of ancient, traditional Japanese therapies.

Let’s take a deeper look at this traditional Japanese therapeutic massage that can be of benefit to most, if not all of us.

The Technique

The principles of Shiatsu is based on the precepts of traditonal Oriental (Chinese/Japanese) medicine involving the concept of “qi”. Qi is the vital energy, or lifeforce, as it were, of our bodies. Whenever there is an abundance of this lifeforce, the body is deemed to be in good health, and the absence means the lack thereof.

Shiatsu requires a therapist trained in the technique. The therapist uses pressure points using pressing techniques with the fingers, thumbs, and palms to apply the required amount of pressure on the affected area. It uses massage techniques including rubbing, kneading, mashing, and tapping only using the hands.

The Truth About Its Benefits

It goes without saying that as an oriental medicinal practice, there will always be varying degrees of acceptance as to shiatsu’s efficacy and benefits. Nevertheless, research is continuing; the results of which will naturally take longer for us to understand given that the research is done in Japanese.

The point that remains is that risks are low compared to the benefits that it has anecdotally proven. Furthermore, it’s a method that has been used over hundreds of years, and it does provide those that have it done to their bodies relief from a bevy of pain and aches in the body.

Shiatsu has also been recommended as therapy to treat disorders such as back pain, sciatica, whiplash, headaches, migraines, joint pain, and frozen shoulders. It does help reduce stress for those who use it to treat themselves, and in that regard, if you test it for yourself, you may find it just as relaxing as millions of people around the world do. You won’t know until you try and see for yourself if it works for you.

The Future of Shiatsu

It’s a technologically advanced world we’re all living in nowadays; it was only a matter of time until the throes of technological advancement wrapped its hands around the ancient art of Shiatsu. And it did; the future lies in the use of a specially-designed chair that provides Shiatsu massages anywhere you are, anywhere you go. These chairs have been in the market for some time now; and they do a good approximation of a true Shiatsu massage. Though it must be said that these chairs do not come close to the authentic Shiatsu massage with human touch, many of those who enjoy Shiatsu will enjoy using them as an alternative that can save money, especially if a Shiatsu massage is something you enjoy every so often. But if manage your expectations on the quality of the Shiatsu massage you get with a chair, you may just find that they are good for you. It’s not a substitute, but it does come close enough. Shiatsu Chairs has a whole lot more on them, as well as the best ones out there on the market today.